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Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e3182517fd8
Original Articles

Perioperative Bowel Habits of Women Undergoing Gynecologic Surgery: A Pilot Study

Tarr, Megan E. MD, MS; Klenov, Violet BS; Tanzy, Margaret E. MD; Rivard, Colleen L. MD; McElhinney, Margaret M. MD; Brubaker, Linda MD, MS; Mueller, Elizabeth R. MD; FitzGerald, Mary P. MD; Kenton, Kimberly MD, MS

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Objectives: To describe perioperative bowel habits of women undergoing gynecologic surgery.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included women undergoing gynecologic surgery. Before surgery, participants completed the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS), a validated instrument describing stool characteristics consistent with transit categories: slow (BSFS 1–2), normal (BSFS 3–5), and fast (BSFS 6–7). For 2 weeks after surgery, the participants recorded daily medications and bowel movements (BM), and completed BSFS. The χ2 test, the Fisher exact test, analysis of variance, t tests, and ordinal regression were used.

Results: Preoperatively, most (70%) of 340 women had normal stool transit, with 15% having slow transit and 7% having fast transit. Complete postoperative data were available for 170 (50%). Mean ± SD time to first postoperative BM was 2.8 ± 1.4 days with transit classification: 48% normal, 32% slow, and 20% fast.

Conclusions: Most women had normal stool transit both preoperatively and postoperatively. Time to first BM was longer after open surgery by approximately 3 days.

© 2012 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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